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Lebanon: Solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Breaking News, Disaster, History, Human Rights, Humanitarian Response, International Relations, Politics, Protest, Refugees, War & Conflict, Youth

“In Gaza There is a Boy Standing and Waiting to go to Sleep” these are the words that Mazen Kerbaj [1] chose to summarize the situation in Gaza in one of his cartoons. Taking a second look, the cartoon seems to say: “In Gaza There is a Boy Standing and Waiting to die”.
in gaza there is a boy
This can also be considered as the view of most Lebanese bloggers who posted about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Most Lebanese are relating to what is going on in Gaza because of the fresh memories of the July 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon, nevertheless many have expressed that the already bad conditions of Gaza is making their predicament far worse than those of the Lebanese in 2006. Green Resistance [2]expresses this feeling in one of many posts about Gaza by saying:

The onslaught against Gaza seems worse than the onslaught against Lebanon in July 2006.
At least, there was a narrow corridor for escape for the southerners in Lebanon in July 2006. Although many were killed en route, many were killed on the highways as they were going north; still, many were able to leave the bombardment. The people of Gaza have nowhere to go. The prison on the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza keeps getting smaller.

Tarek at Beirut NTSC [3] writes about his friend and her family of three children, the youngest of whom is a 15 months old girl. They are in Gaza as the shelling continues. To him, the tragedy of Gaza today has a human face:

I write this blog entry because only this morning I was explaining to a German friend in Beirut that during the war there was always a haven of safety in the middle of all the madness and for some reason I added “I know someone in Gazza right now, I hope she and her family are safe, but I also know that there must be a haven there too….” I am by no means diminishing the intensity or magnitude of what is going on in Gaza, but I have to admit that whereas previously I was sympathetic with the people in Gazza “theoretically” and just out of sheer human altruism, today, tragedy has a human face for me – Ola, her husband and her three children. I particularly think of Rasha, her
15 months-old daughter, who is either blissfully unaware of what is going on, or – on the contrary – has her mind registering the sights and sounds in front of her. Because I am a child of war myself, I think of Malek too – Ola's second child but first son (Hence her nickname “Oum Malek”) and I think of myself at the age of 10 in an war-torn Beirut and wonder if Malek will grow up to have the same war reflexes as me and my generation had.
But, the realist in me cannot but be an optimist – maybe that's how my people and myself survived the war – and now I think of Ola and her smiling face with her luggage waiting to cross to Egypt and join us in the course – I know that, even in the deepest shelter in Gazza, this smile still resonates (Probably soothing Rasha into a tight sleep) and is the best weapon against any aggression, a proof of will to live, to defy, to beat oblivion and death.

Jamal [4] wrote that the actions against Gaza will bring Israel nothing but more and more hatred, something which, in his opinion, Israel can not tolerate. He goes on to state that Israel’s actions are signaling its end:

Today Israel's heavily armed gang did what it does best…Killing for the sake of killing… Although Israel has since its conception been morally bankrupt today's massacre proves more and more that they are military bankrupt too. The 2006 defeat on the edges of Maroun El Ras and Bint Jbeil was the beginning of the end.
Israel can pump all the American tax money available into that war machine, but when it starts a campaign by wiping out sitting targets like the police stations they targeted today just for the sake of killing as many bearded men as possible; that is a sign of bankruptcy. Militarily it gained nothing, strategically it lost the war. If all a 60 year extensive military program is capable of are sophomoric war crimes, then it is not facing an “existential threat”…it just does not deserve to exist.

Jamal [5]also points out that the actions of the Israeli military will create problems for the Arab leaders, especially ones that have peace agreements with Israel, to push for what is termed as “normalization” of relationships with Israel:

There is no question Israel under the wise leadership of Olmert, Livni and Barak will come out of this round having lost on many fronts. Militarily it can only kill indiscriminately its insatiable blood thirst is being beamed live into homes around the globe further exposing its barbaric nature. Meanwhile politically, they risk losing historic gains they've made with their Arab allies. No doubt Israel's cooperation with the two Abdallahs, Hashem and Saud, will continue in a not so covert manner. However, the longer these massacres continue the more trouble the Arab dictators will have in openly push naturalization efforts. In 2006, we saw how Mubarak, the Sauds, and the Hashems panicked after Israel failed to finish off Hezbollah. They scurried with their damage control efforts by trying to outbid others in the process of erasing the traces of the crime they took part in. No doubt they will do the same in Gaza.

Rami Zurayk [6]wrote about the general mood of the Lebanese he is meeting, especially in the South of Lebanon. He noted that they have shifted into “war mode”. He also mentioned the demonstrations and vigils taking place:

I was on my way to South Lebanon yesterday when I heard the news of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza. I stopped to get some food on my way, and there was already 100 dead. The response of the people of South Lebanon is overwhelmingly supportive of the plight of the Gazans: the memories of 2006 are still too fresh and what is going on in Gaza looks like a deja vu of July 2006.
This morning we heard Israeli fighter planes in the south. The radio and tv news confirmed this. The people started to get worried. In the village bakery people were discussing the situation in Gaza. I could feel the mood had shifted and people had entered “war mode”.
In Beirut, young men and women held a demonstration in front of the Egyptian embassy. They were protesting Egypt's continuous closure of the Rafah border. They started throwing stones and shoes at the embassy, the army intervened with shields and batons and water jets and tear gas. The demonstrators retreated to stadium nearby and closed the road with burning tires. I saw them on my way back form the South.

Lea [7] criticizes [Ar] those who condemn Israel’s response as “disproportionate” and questions whether what is going on would become more acceptable if the military response and killings were “moderate”.

New Phoenicia [8] criticizes what he describes as the “moral West” and the “Arab brethren” for abandoning Gazans during the years of the siege and then blaming them for what is happening to them today because of their attempt to fight back and free themselves of their misery:

There are no words.
The world looked on as Israel cut off food, medicine, fuel and all essential supplies from the Gazans and then blamed the Gazans for their suffering.
When the Gazans see that the world will do nothing to alleviate their plight they try to fight back, with pathetic little rockets and the world looks on and blame the Gazans for the bombings that are killing indiscriminately.
The world has told the Gazans that they mean nothing; Are worth nothing.
They have been abandoned by the “moral” West. They have been abandoned and betrayed by the leaders of their Arab “brethren”.
And then the world will wonder what it is exactly that makes these young Muslim men so angry.

Cold Desert [9] uses the definition of “terrorist” and the news of what is happening to pinpoint the source of “terrorism”. He also criticizes what he describes as ineffective actions such as protests and what he calls “digital resistance”:

First, let's just summarize what happened,
The [Israeli] air strikes that began Saturday, in which Palestinians claim at least 280 people have been killed…

Now a quick visit to Oxford dictionary, we read,
noun a person who uses violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
DERIVATIVES terrorism noun

What does this make of Israeli government and army and all their supporters? Yep, you got it right.
Well, it seems they also find pleasure being terrorists.

Now, what are the Arab countries doing?
As for the Arab Kings and Princes and Whores (isn't that the English for عاهل?) they are also seeking more pleasure in serving their masters.
On the other hand, what are the Arab crowds doing?
The usual inefficient methods, protests and similar ineffective techniques that proved to be of no use. As for the Arab youth who can use the Internet, they can protest in more modern ways as well such as joining facebook groups with names like “Free Gaza”, “Peace of Gaza”, stuff of that sort… This is the birth of digital resistance my friends, if we get 1000 user to join “Free Gaza” facebook group, Israel will succumb.

Adonis49 [10], in his bi-weekly report on Lebanon blasts Israel for what he describes as “mass murder” and accuses it of working to bring about insecurity and chaos. He also accuses the President of Egypt of giving Israel the green light to carry on its attacks:

The news are showing in direct the latest mass murder of the Zionist State; Israel bombed Gaza with 60 jet fighter planes and killed so far within 3 minutes 200 Palestinians and seriously injured 350; the news media showed in direct the body of forty Palestinian police officers who died in their headquarter while attending a graduation ceremony; one injured survivor was proclaiming “La illah ella lah” (God is one). Israel intends to eliminate all police forces in Gaza hoping for total insecurity and chaos to set in. The Zionist Foreign Affair Livny met yesterday with Moubarak, the President traitor of Egypt, and got the green light to behead the Hamas leaders; it seems the beheading of the police and the civilians too.

In a lengthy historical analysis, citing what Israel did in Lebanon and in the region during the past decades and how its actions has only resulted in an increase of violence and resistance instead of eliminating them, Lebanese Chess [11] reaches a conclusion that the same will happen this time and that Hamas will emerge stronger than before:

Israel is continuing that very policy today. It believes that by striking at civilians in Hamas territory, the Palestinians will return to Abbas and finalize an agreement on Israeli terms. What they will get is another Hamas, a greater Hamas, and more Palestinians determined to fight. It has made recruiting for Hamas all the more easier, which will now compete with Al-Qaida for fresh young talent.
Suicide bombings will return to Israeli cities after several years of relative calm. Israel will bring the war to its streets, but that isn't all. Hamas will not simply return to a rogue, extremist group that commits random suicide bombings and launches a few home-made rockets. Hamas, with its new-found popularity, will move further into the arms of Tehran and seek further sophistication and training.

After describing the sad situation that had already existed in Gaza before the Israeli attacks, Tarek at Letting Loose [12] blasts Israel for a level of barbarism that will do nothing but spread hatred:

What kind of retarded logic to the Israelis have? What exactly do they think they are achieving my launching these attacks on Gaza? Spreading more hate among both the Israelis and the Arabs? Will Israel win the hearts of 300 million Arabs, and one billion Muslims by showing them the level of barbarianism they have demonstrated over the past three days? Is this how Israel seeks security of its land and people? […]

Israel is a terrorist state whose sole reason for existence is war and Arab and Muslim blood.

Jnoubieh [13] posted news report about the demonstration held by Hezbollah in support of the Palestinians in Gaza. The post also has the speech that Nasrallah give at the demonstration:

Tens of thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians and Arabs responded Monday to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and gathered in Beirut’s southern suburb in solidarity with Gaza and to pay tribute to the 318 martyrs who fell so far in the Israeli barbaric attack on the Strip. One protester said that Arab leaders must unite and revolt against Israeli tyrants. “Arab leaders are invited to immediately break off ties with Israel and pressure Egypt to open the Rafah crossing,”

The waved Palestinian, Lebanese and Hezbollah flags and shouted anti US and Israeli slogans and calls for Egypt to take a historic stance in support of Gaza amid a suspicious official Arab silence. “Some Arab regimes have no dignity,” one of the protesters said, calling on Egypt to open the crossings for food, medication and also weapons.

Last but not least, Tajaddod Youth [14] [Ar] posted a declaration of solidarity by the youth of March 14 [pro-government political alliance] with the people of Gaza and included, in the declaration, some bank account numbers for anyone who would like to donate money to support the Palestinians in Gaza.